Iron in the Diet

Most breakfast cereals are now fortified with iron. Fortification is the process of adding vitamins and minerals to foods that don’t already contain them. The Rice Krispies used to make these Nutty Rice Krispy Bars (recipe in the previous post) contained 2.4mg of iron per 30g of Rice Krispies. Different brands of cereal contain different amounts of added iron.

Functions of iron in the body:
-Iron is important in helping the body to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body.
-Iron is a key nutrient and contributes to fetal and neonatal brain development (with folic acid).
-Iron has a role in the regulation of body temperature.
-Iron levels have also been associated with changing thyroid function.

The current iron recommendation is; 8.7mg a day for men over 18, 14.8mg a day for women aged 19 to 50, and 8.7mg a day for women over 50.

What are other good sources of Iron:
– Red meat such as ground beef contains 2.7mg iron per 100g.
– Beans contain around 2-3mg per 100g, depending on the variety.
– Nuts such as almonds, pine nuts and cashews contain around 1.3mg iron per 30g, depending on the variety.
– Dried fruit such as dried apricots contain 2.7mg iron per 100g.
– Oats contain around 1.8g iron per 40g portion.
– Dark-green leafy vegetables contain around 1.2mg iron per 80g portion.

Eating foods containing iron along with foods containing vitamin C, such as oranges, makes it easier for your body to absorb the iron.

Most people are able to get all the iron they need from their daily diet.

If you are worried you are not getting enough iron from your diet you should get in touch with a registered dietitian or have a chat with your local GP.

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